13 things you need to know in tech today

Here’s your daily tech digest, by way of the very-good-never-bad DGiT Daily newsletter, for Monday, April 22, 2019! It’s Earth Day! The motto for today is to do nothing at all. Doing nothing is better than doing something, for the environment at least.

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1. 30 years of Game Boy

Picture of a modded Nintendo Game Boy.

April 21st marked 30 years since the introduction of the gray, boxy, monochrome handheld gaming device: the Game Boy.

  • Nintendo’s Game Boy was about $94 at launch, in 1989 money, or about $190 in today’s money.
  • It was like a NES in your pocket, and launched with four games available: “Super Mario Land,” “Baseball,” “Alleyway,” and “Yakuman” (a mahjong game).
  • Later that year, an $89 bundle was launched, featuring Tetris – selling more than one million units during the Christmas season, and an icon was born.
  • Nintendo sold more than 118 million units of the original Game Boy – not including the later Game Boy Advance – worldwide.

Tech and longevity:

  • The Game Boy was not the most technologically sophisticated device of its time, a deliberate strategy from legendary game designer Gunpei Yokoi at Nintendo.
  • Competitors had color displays and better graphics – including the Atari Lynx (a 16-bit gaming competitor) and Sega’s Game Gear, which had a full-color backlit screen.
  • But the Game Boy, with its small form factor, great battery life, and low price, had the edge.
  • Chiefly, it had 10 to 30 hours of battery life on four AA batteries, double or triple competitors which used six AA cells.
  • In terms of longevity, the Game Boy continues on to this day with enthusiasts.
  • That’s a mark of the power of single-use technologies that continue to live on: any calculator you own will outlast your iPhone or Android smartphone.

Three great reads on the Game Boy:

2. Samsung delays Galaxy Fold release in China and Hong Kong …but not the US (Android Authority).

3. 100MP smartphone cameras seems like a terrible idea: here’s why (AA).

4. Tesla is holding an autonomous driving event today for investors at 2pm ET at the company’s HQ in Palo Alto, with Musk seemingly set to talk about technologies and a plan for truly driverless vehicles, perhaps by the end of 2020 (AP).

5. OnePlus job opening suggests T-Mobile exclusive won’t last: Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint look likely (AA).

6. These are the best new vehicles of the 2019 New York International Auto Show (Ars Technica).

7. China bans the word ‘Leica’ on social media (Gizmodo).

8. Video appears to show SpaceX’s new spaceship for NASA exploding during a safety test (Business Insider).

9.“Apple owes everyone an apology [for its butterfly keyboard] and it should start with me, specifically” (The Outline).

10. A UK study finds more than 23 million people around the globe use the password ‘123456’ (Slashdot discussion)

11. Unsettling video shows what happens to a dead alligator at the bottom of the Gulf (Gizmodo).

12. How to watch the Lyrid meteor shower tonight (Lifehacker).

13. What would really happen if Thanos erased half of all life on Earth? (Earther).

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